UND President Kennedy prepares to battle Legislature over proposed cuts

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) UND President Mark Kennedy, along with higher-ed leaders across the State, are getting ready to do battle with the Legislature.
At a time of slumping state revenue, President Kennedy says cuts will hurt the economy.
In part, less oil revenue could mean more cuts at UND. Last year, around 12-million dollars were trimmed from the budget, with some early retirements and the elimination of a few programs.
Now, UND along with other schools and agencies across the State face another proposed, 15-percent cut in State money.
Reporter: “Do you know in general terms, how much of a cut?”
Mark Kennedy, UND President: “They’re looking at funding us at 85-percent of what we got in the last bieneium, the 2-year period, so that’s a very significant cut.”
President Kennedy says Governor Burgum has not laid out his proposed budget yet. But Kennedy is scheduled to go before the Senate Appropriations Committee next Monday. Kenned says he’ll be making the case that more cuts at UND actually hurts the State.
Mark Kennedy, UND President: “We’re also the source of the talent the State needs, whether it’s teachers, nurses, doctors, whether it’s the scientists we need to drive the new economy. It doesn’t make sense to have a significant cut to our resources. So, we’re going to make the best case we can to result in the best outcome we can.”
Kennedy also point out the State money is just part of the money that makes UND run. He says endangering staff or programs with cuts, endangers some 100-million dollars they bring in every year with federal and private research grants.
Mark Kennedy, UND President: “We’re going to be making the case for the best investment we can in the future of North Dakota by investing in its engine of opportunity, the one that drives the diversification of the economy.”
It now remains to be seen whether Legislators have the same take on UND.
Along with slumping oil economy, State revenue has also been hurt by poor ag prices.